All times Pacific
Zack Steffen and Alfredo Morales: Fortuna Dusseldorf vs. Hertha Berlin, Friday, 11:30 AM:
Morales was relegated to the bench last week and subsequently came on as a sub as Dusseldorf saw off Freiburg 2-0. It wasn’t a change of pace for the central midfielder, who has made 18 Bundesliga appearances this season, with all but three being as a starter in the contest. Change was always going to come, however, with Dusseldorf winless in five league contests to start the second half prior to the win against Freiburg, which might further push Morales from the starting XI. Steffen, on the other hand, will be absent with the knee tendonitis which has kept him out for the beginning of 2020.
Gio Reyna: Borussia Dortmund vs. Freiburg, Saturday, 6:30 AM
Reyna continues in his role as a supersub for Dortmund, and there’s no reason to think that is going to change any time soon. The 17-year-old has put in consistently solid performances in limited minutes, only affirming the belief that Lucien Favre has shown in him. He still hasn’t started a game for Dortmund, and while there’s a chance that could come against Freiburg, the third-place side need to put their best outfit on the field every week to stay in the title race. Unfortunately, Reyna is just on the outside of that, as it stands.
After McKennie was subbed off last week, Schalke’s 1-0 deficit turned into a 5-0 loss to RB Leipzig, so it’s pretty clear that the midfielder was not a central issue with the side. That being said, the 20-year-old hasn’t really taken the next step this season and is stagnating at the moment, as is his side, which hasn’t won in five matches. McKennie is constantly on the fringe of the starting squad, so it’s a 50/50 chance as to whether or not he will be in there for the sixth-place squad, which has fallen off the pace for a Champions League spot.
John Brooks: Wolfsburg at Union Berlin, Sunday, 4:30 AM
After seemingly being in purgatory, Brooks has started four straight for Wolfsburg, who have only gotten stronger in that stretch, winning all four while allowing zero goals and scoring seven in their last two out. That has pushed them through to the last 16 of the Europa League and put them on the heels of sixth place and a shot to once again qualify for that competition next season. Wolfsburg are rolling at the moment, so making a change at the back seems unlikely.
Tyler Adams: RB Leipzig vs. Bayer Leverkusen, Sunday, 6:30 AM
Since nothing new has come out about Adams’ injury, it’s a likely bet that the central midfielder will again be sidelined this weekend. Leipzig host a critical fixture against fifth-place Leverkusen.
Josh Sargent and Timothy Chandler: Werder Bremen vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, Sunday, 9:00 AM
Chandler has been a mainstay in the Frankfurt lineup since getting hot in January and should be back in the fold for the mid-table side against Werder Bremen this week. Chandler and Frankfurt have both cooled off since that run last month and need to right the ship after winning just one of their last four. On the other side, Sargent will probably be involved in some way or another, but he hasn’t started in over a month. The striker has still gotten five substitute appearances in that time but has little-to-nothing to show for it, having not scored or assisted since October.
DeAndre Yedlin: Newcastle vs. Burnley, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Yedlin seems to have lost his place in the Newcastle lineup due to a combination of injury and manager’s decision having kept him out since an FA Cup match with lower-tier Oxford United on February 4. However, the man who started in his place last week, Valentino Lazaro, was sent off late and will miss out this week due to suspension. After being completely dropped out of the team a couple of weeks ago, Yedlin was on the bench last week, so there’s certainly a chance that he’ll be back in the squad this week against Burnley.
Christian Pulisic: Chelsea at Bournemouth, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Frank Lampard only muddled the timetable for Pulisic’s return from injury further this week, calling it “a difficult injury.” It seems very unlikely that he’s back in the 18-man squad this weekend against Bournemouth. Chelsea need him desperately after a brutal stretch of results and amidst an injury crisis as they try to hold onto fourth place.
Indiana Vassilev: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City (Carabao Cup Final), Sunday, 8:30 AM
Vassilev probably won’t be in the Villa 18-man squad for this Sunday’s Carabao Cup Final at Wembley, but he’ll almost certainly be watching from inside the stadium as the Villans scrap City for some silverware. They’ll face an uphill task, but anything is possible.
Timothy Weah: Lille at Nantes, Sunday, 6:00 AM
Weah underwent surgery this week and is out for the foreseeable future. It’s hard to see him coming back this season for Lille.
Turkish Super Lig
Tyler Boyd: Besiktas at Alanyaspor, Friday, 9:00 AM
Boyd has worked his way back onto the field for Besiktas in early 2020, albeit mostly as a substitute. The winger hasn’t been able to provide much in the way of end product for his struggling side, not recording a goal or assist in 11 league matches (five starts). He’ll hope for some minutes, and that he can do something with them, in Friday’s big match against fifth-place Alanyaspor, who are two points ahead of Besiktas.
Sergino Dest: Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar, Sunday, 11:00 AM
Dest continues in his role as Ajax’s main right back, but it’s been a rough three-match stretch for the Dutch leaders, who lost to struggling Heracles last weekend and went out of the Europa League with a 3-2 two-legged defeat to Getafe. They’ll need to be at their sharpest as they look to bounce back in a huge Eredivisie matchup against second-place AZ, who would pull level on points with Ajax if they can score the win in Amsterdam. It’ll be a big challenge for the 19-year-old.
Duane Holmes: Derby County at Sheffield Wednesday, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Holmes remains out after suffering an injury a week ago. Fifteenth-place Derby visit 12th-place Sheffield Wednesday in a game that could either provide another flicker of hope for their unlikely chances of a playoff push or extinguish those dreams altogether.
Tim Ream: Fulham vs. Preston, Saturday, 7:00 AM
After a massive midweek 1-0 win over Swansea, third-place Fulham have another huge matchup this weekend at Craven Cottage when they host sixth-place Preston. The Cottagers are currently four points ahead of Preston in the table, so a defeat could drag them into a tighter battle than they’d like. Ream, who has been an ever-present in all but two matches this season, will almost certainly be in the XI for this critical battle.
Antonee Robinson: Wigan at West Bromwich Albion, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Robinson wasn’t back in the Wigan squad that won at Reading in the midweek, and it’s unclear if he’ll be in the team that visits red-hot league leaders West Brom on Saturday. The left back is nursing a groin injury, which was initially announced to be keeping him out roughly through this week, but there’s no real update on his status available. It’ll be interesting to see if he’s fit enough to be in the 18-man squad at the Hawthorns this weekend.
Matt Miazga: Reading vs. Barnsley, Saturday, 7:00 AM
Miazga was reported to be slightly ahead of schedule in his recovery last week from the ankle injury he suffered in late January, but it’s still doubtful that he’s in the lineup this weekend against Barnsley. Reading are struggling massively with just one win in 10 league games, and they’ll be eager to bust their slump in a must-win matchup at home against 23rd-place Barnsley.